Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My Anxious Heart

"Depression is when you can't feel at all. Anxiety is when you feel too much. Having both is a constant war within your own mind. Having both means never winning." 

Photo Credit
A friend sent me the link to this article about My Anxious Heart, a photo series depicting anxiety and depression with photography instead of just words.  While I found all the photos in the series so spot on and relateable, it was the quote above that got me. 

On top of the eating disorder, which is thankfully under control these days, both anxiety and depression reside inside me.  There are days where my depression is so thick I can't lift my head from my pillow in the morning.  There are days when my anxiety is so strong walking from the bedroom to the living room has me short of breath.

Sometimes I miss the numbness the eating disorder provided, it was a more tolerable numbness than the one depression carries.  Depression numb is being in the dark with no light in sight, where as the eating disorder numb is more dissociative.  Both leave me feeling rather care-less.

I struggle with lots of things I see on Facebook, and I actually stopped reading the newspaper and watching the news nearly two years ago.  Why?  Because I feel too much.  Because I'd see a story about a town in need, and my heart would break for the citizens of the town.  I'd see a story about a child who won the battle with cancer, and my heart would crack open even further for the pain they had to go through.  Feeling so much, so intensely, leaves me gasping for breath.

I don't like that I agree with the author, that "having both means never winning," but I do.  I feel like the delicate balance, the grey area, so to speak, is so hard to find, and once it's found, it is nearly impossible to stay for long.  Being in one extreme, depression, is no better than the other extreme, anxiety, at least for me.  I aim to reside in the grey area.

And yet, it seems impossibly elusive.
(That's what the depression says.)

And the idea of the grey area is terrifying.
(That's the anxiety talking.)

Still, I plug on.  I see my therapist twice a week and my dietitian once a week and the rest of my team as needed and I plug on.  They haven't given up.  So I won't either.

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